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Thread: 2019 1250RT Demo Ride

  1. #1
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    Thumbs up 2019 1250RT Demo Ride

    I'm new to BMW motorcycles, bought a K1600 Grand America last May and love it. I've been riding Japanese motorcycles for more years than I care to remember. Brought my Grand America up to my Dealer last Friday to install new tires and to do a software update. While there they offered for me to demo any one of their bikes. I chose the new 1250RT model after reading about all of the improvements in magazines and advertisements. Never riding a Boxer bike, I thought I'd see what it was like.

    One thing that I really like about BMWs is that most of their bikes have very similar control arrangements so moving from one bike to the other is not a new learning curve all over again looking for controls. I immediately noticed how light the RT was as compared to my K1600. The RT is almost 200 pounds lighter than my K bike, and it handles like a dream in the turns. Very neutral handling, felt light all the time. I owned several Kawasaki Concours 1400's which handle great but always felt heavy, and required a lot of effort to muscle the bike around and in the turns. The Boxer engine sounded funny to me because I always rode In-Line 4 cylinder bikes, and now the K16 6-cylinder. At idle the boxer had a noticeable vibration or light shake, which I assume is typical for these types of bikes. It shifted very smooth, but the clutch engaged far too soon for me. I'm sure a simple adjustment would fix that. The bike had lots of pep, and the seating position for me was much better and more natural than expected. At 6'3", I thought that my legs would hit the boxer engine sides, but nope, there was plenty of leg room. I found the suspension quite stiff though. It appears that the suspension isn't adjustable. The Dealer said that the ESA automatically senses the load and adjusts the suspension accordingly. I found it far too stiff to be enjoyable on a long ride. The windshield and fairing provided unexpected excellent wind protection their size. I guess the only thing I didn't like about it other than the stiff suspension was the throttle. My K1600 has the throttle-by-wire set up as well, and at times it can be more sensitive than I would like, and sometimes a little lurchy during down hill deceleration, although the "drivability" software update seems to have improved that. I found that the RT throttle was a little hard to control smoothly especially in 2nd gear. But I guess like any new bike, once you ride it for a while you get acustomed to the way the bike performs. Overall, I'd say that BMW did a nice job designing the 1250RT, and if I was looking for this type of bike I wouldn't hesitate to buy one. Not to mention is looks real nice. I think I'll demo a K1600 GT next to see how it compares to my old Concours 1400.
    Last edited by 18grandam; 06-20-2019 at 12:43 AM.

  2. #2
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    RT versus K

    I owned a 2012 K1600 GTL for a few years and loved it. I then switched to an adventure style given I was in TX and running into ranch roads that went to dirt and wanted that freedom. I tried the KTM 1290 SA and loved the engine, but it was tall, and the equipment just wasn't the quality of BMW. I moved to Memphis and found myself riding only road. So when the 1250RT came out I test drove it and loved it. So now I'm on the new RT and am enjoying it - not as punchy as my last two bikes but enough fun and extraordinary smoothness and light for a full sport/tour. I'm adjusting with some popular farkles to get the fit just right, but love this bike!

  3. #3
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    On my 2018 RT the ESA has settings for one rider, rider with gear, or two riders, it can be also set for three positions of ride firmness. Normal, comfort and sport if I recall. I assume the R1250RT does too. Where was it set?

    I find the softest setting on my 2018's suspension is a bit soft, I generally run it in the middle setting.
    From the only real Fargo, ND!

  4. #4
    Registered User WWeldin's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by drewmort View Post
    I owned a 2012 K1600 GTL for a few years and loved it. I then switched to an adventure style given I was in TX and running into ranch roads that went to dirt and wanted that freedom. I tried the KTM 1290 SA and loved the engine, but it was tall, and the equipment just wasn't the quality of BMW. I moved to Memphis and found myself riding only road. So when the 1250RT came out I test drove it and loved it. So now I'm on the new RT and am enjoying it - not as punchy as my last two bikes but enough fun and extraordinary smoothness and light for a full sport/tour. I'm adjusting with some popular farkles to get the fit just right, but love this bike!
    Welcome to the club! You will love that RT as I am enoying the heck out of mine. 4000 RPM's and up, you can really feel the power.

    FYI on the 2019 RT, the ESA setting is AUTO, but can be manually adjusted up or down. I can only be done while stopped. The ride modes adjust the dampening rate, which can be changed while riding.

    Cheers,
    William
    2000 R1200C, 2019 R1250RT

  5. #5
    BMW MOA co-founder bmwdean's Avatar
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    RE: stiff suspension

    On page 68 of the 2019 RT owner's manual is described "available load settings." Fixed minimum setting is "MIN." See photo below. That is where I have mine set.

    Pre-2019 RTs offered "SOFT," which is what I use.
    Attached Images Attached Images
    Jeff Dean
    Tucson, Arizona, and Madison, Wisconsin
    Co-founder, 1972, of BMW MOA -- http://bmwdean.com/r1200rtw.htm
    2017 R1200RT, 2019 R1250RT, 1967 R60/2

  6. #6
    Registered User WWeldin's Avatar
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    I am reading (lower right of that owner's manual page) that says the damping cannot be adjusted while the motorcycle is being ridden. DOH!! I must have confused myself with the riding modes. Sorry about that. Those modes can be changed on the fly. I was thinking that was for the shocks as well, but the manual clearly states shock adjustment is done while stopped. I have yet to adjust the shocks for riding. So far it works for me and my wife (in AUTO.) Maybe I will try some adjustments to see any differences. Thanks for pointing that out Jeff.

    Cheers,
    William
    2000 R1200C, 2019 R1250RT

  7. #7
    BMW MOA co-founder bmwdean's Avatar
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    Adjust when stopped

    Quote Originally Posted by WWeldin View Post
    I am reading (lower right of that owner's manual page) that says the damping cannot be adjusted while the motorcycle is being ridden. DOH!! I must have confused myself with the riding modes. Sorry about that. Those modes can be changed on the fly. I was thinking that was for the shocks as well, but the manual clearly states shock adjustment is done while stopped. I have yet to adjust the shocks for riding. So far it works for me and my wife (in AUTO.) Maybe I will try some adjustments to see any differences. Thanks for pointing that out Jeff.
    You are most welcome!
    Jeff Dean
    Tucson, Arizona, and Madison, Wisconsin
    Co-founder, 1972, of BMW MOA -- http://bmwdean.com/r1200rtw.htm
    2017 R1200RT, 2019 R1250RT, 1967 R60/2

  8. #8
    Registered User lkchris's Avatar
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    Besides the confusion as to whether ride can be modified—it can— there are also multiple ride modes with different electronically adjusted throttle response maps.

    An incomplete road test, too soon to come to any negative conclusions.
    Kent Christensen
    21482
    '12 R1200RT, '02 R1100S, '84 R80G/S

  9. #9
    Debbie's Servant Lee's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by WWeldin View Post
    I am reading (lower right of that owner's manual page) that says the damping cannot be adjusted while the motorcycle is being ridden.
    That's interesting.
    On our K1300S we could change damping on the fly. Same thing on our R1200RSs.
    Lee
    2016 R1200RS
    MOA # 30878
    Past BMW Bikes: 2011 K1300S, 2003 K1200RS, 1991 K75S, 1987 K75T, 1984 R100RT

  10. #10
    Quote Originally Posted by Lee View Post
    That's interesting.
    On our K1300S we could change damping on the fly. Same thing on our R1200RSs.
    You can change damping on the fly on the 2019 RT- by changing the ride mode (it will switch when the throttle closes and the throttle map can be reset). However, the suspension load setting changes preload and ride height, and you need to be stopped for that.
    MOA#: 218327
    2019 R1250RT, Mars Red
    Retired: 2002 Kawasaki VN750; 1989 Kawasaki KLR650, 1980 Yamaha DT175

  11. #11
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    Quote Originally Posted by WWeldin View Post
    Welcome to the club! You will love that RT as I am enoying the heck out of mine. 4000 RPM's and up, you can really feel the power.

    FYI on the 2019 RT, the ESA setting is AUTO, but can be manually adjusted up or down. I can only be done while stopped. The ride modes adjust the dampening rate, which can be changed while riding.

    Cheers,
    William
    Thank you William!

  12. #12
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    Quote Originally Posted by WWeldin View Post
    Welcome to the club! You will love that RT as I am enoying the heck out of mine. 4000 RPM's and up, you can really feel the power.

    FYI on the 2019 RT, the ESA setting is AUTO, but can be manually adjusted up or down. I can only be done while stopped. The ride modes adjust the dampening rate, which can be changed while riding.

    Cheers,
    William
    Thanks for the info. Yes, I found out after the Demo Ride that even though the ESA has automatic settings, I could have softened the ride dampening rate. To be honest, I was more interested in riding it than I was playing around with the settings. Very fun ride, but much different engine sound from the Boxer than from the K1600. If I ever decide to get a lighter Sport Tourer, the RT1250 will be at the top of my list.

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